Remembrances of Rrrrrrrandy

By Diana DeVille, Rock Goddess
Monday, May 6, 2002 @ 9:15 AM

Rattís Bobby Blotzer

ďBuck N RosesĒ

Buckcherryís Josh Todd
Matt Sorum
Tyler & Slash

Drum Jam
Drum Jam
Steven Tyler
Aerosmithís Steven Tyler
Duff McKagan
Ronnie Montrose

Montroseís Wright & Torpey
Steve Lukather
Photos by Paul Harb/KNAC.COM
Artists and family members pay tribute to Randy Castillo

The Randy Castillo Tribute show was held at the Key Club Monday night, April 29th, 2002 to raise money for charity. The event was organized by Randy’s sister Chris Castillo, Phil Soussan, former manager Todd Singerman and others, and featured performances by Buck N Roses (ex-Gunners Slash, Duff and Matt Sorum with Buckcherry’s Joshua Todd and Keith Nelson, who were joined onstage by Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler), Montrose, Slap, Latin monsters Ziroq (formerly Azul) and many others, ending with a drumming tribute to Randy, including a beautiful tribal song from some Native American friends of Randy’s from New Mexico and a film of the man himself in action.

As important as the performances themselves was the reason they were all brought together: the man himself, Randy Castillo. Randy was best known to the world for his work with Ozzy Osbourne, Lita Ford and more recently, Motley Crue. However, he was also a wonderful human being and a shining personality, whose personal testament is contained in the remembrances below by the artists and people who turned out to pay tribute to the fallen rocker.

"...for 22 years [Randy] was my best friend... I would usually be playing with him... Heís not here tonight, so Iím playing for him." -Phil Soussan
Show organizer Phil Soussan, remembered of Randy, ďI have a lot of memories of Randy: for twenty-two years he was my best friend. Iíve got way way too many. Letís put it this way: I organized this show. I put it together with the help of Tom Maher, Todd Singerman, Matt Sorum, Rhonda Saenz, Paul Blazek -- we came together to put this together. The only memory I can really think of which would be appropriate, is that every other benefit Iíve ever done, Iíve done with Randy. So Iím doing this benefit tonight and heís not here, and I would usually be playing with him, and umÖ [gets emotional] right now thatís the one thing Iím remembering more than anything else. I mean, I could tell you funny stories about the benefits Iíve played, but the most important thing I can think of is that I would usually be playing with him. Heís not here tonight, so Iím playing for him.Ē

Chris Castillo offered up her favorite memory of her brother: ďProbably the best memory I have is when I was 17 and I ran away from home. Randy was playing with the Offenders out in Chicago and he had to come out and rescue me in Wisconsin. Just the way he did it was so Randy: We sat together, and he said, ĎLook, you gotta come home. I know itís a bitch; I know lifeís a drag right now, but trust me, itís all going to be okay. But you gotta come home with me.í And thatís probably my favorite memory of Randy is him saving my ass in Wisconsin.Ē

Rattís Bobby Blotzer recalled, ďIíve known Randy since 1977, and Randy and I were really good buddies, and as everyone will attest, he was one of the kindest human beings you will ever have the pleasure of meeting. Itís truly a sad day to have our brother leave so early. Heís missed, and he was a great talent and a great human beingÖGod I miss him, itís horrifying.Ē

Marci Fitz, wife of Vince Neil drummer Brent Fitz and longtime friend of Randy commented, ďI think itís really great that all these people are here for Randy. Randy really cared about his friends; he cared about people, and he was always really nice to people, and I think he more than deserved all of us here to celebrate his life and to pay tribute to him.Ē

"[Randy] was a very special man, a very great musician, a very soulful human being...God bless him, and Iíll play good for him tonight." -Steve Lukather
Famed guitarist Steve Lukather remembered, ďMy fondest memory of Randy is about 1997, me, Phil Soussan, Randy, Gilby Clarke, and Ryan Roxie went down to Cabo San Lucas to play Cabo Wabo just for a [vacation], we did it for a lark, just playing covers and having a laugh. We were there for a week, and we just hung every night, and Randy and I had some really great moments, with everyone, and also just me and him. He was a very special man, a very great musician, a very soulful human being. It really just kinda sucks that heís not here right now, but you know, assholes live forever, but the good ones die young. I donít understand that. But God bless him, and Iíll play good for him tonight.Ē

Fellow drummer Pat Torpey (Mr. Big, Montrose) goes way back with Randy and recalled, ďI hate to admit it because it sort of dates me a little bit, but I actually met Randy back in 1973. He was playing with a band called the Womblies. I saw him play, and he blew me away! I thought, oh my God, this is what I have to be doing! He really inspired me. I have a specific drum lick that I could show people that I took from Randy, and I still use it to this day. He really was ahead of his time. I saw him in Phoenix (he was originally from Albuquerque), and he just blew me away. He was the guy that everyone wanted to see, even on a local level, just playing the circuitÖwe played in New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arizona, and all the drummers followed Randy around, because he was the show, he was the thing, and we are going to miss him a lot. I have known him almost thirty years.Ē

Steelheartís Michael Matejevic commented, ďWhen I lived with Ralph Rickeman from the Scorpions (we lived together in Studio Hills), there were a lot of crazy ridiculous parties, thatís all I can say, and thatís where I had the opportunity to meet Randy a few times. I didnít know him extremely well, but I did meet him a few times at the house, and he was always a gentleman. The other thing is, my mother passed away from leukemia, and so did my brother, all in one year, so my deepest respects to Randy and his family.Ē

Montrose bassist Chuck Wright said, ď I just remember that every time I saw Randy he was a perfect gentleman at all times, and he was always happy to see me. We always talked about the fact that Iíve been fortunate in my career to play with some great drummers, and I never got to do a record with him. We always talked about doing one, and itís unfortunate thatíll never happen now, but weíre here for the music.Ē

And they were indeed there for the music, and that night the music was in honor of Randy Castillo. Many of the artists were happy to reflect on what they hoped to contribute to the show and their thoughts on being involved in the event.

"[Randy's] Apache...he's THE drummer of the world... we're going to honor him with the original drum of our American Indian people." -RedHawk
Native American artist RedHawk provided a preview of her contribution to the program. ďWe are going to be doing tonight a very sacred song for Randy. Itís a Lakota song -- itís the Thunderbeam song -- and the American Indian drum, you know, itís the original drum, itís the original music of this land, so weíre going to honor Randy. Heís Apache, and because heís THE drummer of the world; there is no one like Randy Castillo, I mean thereís Elvis -- thereís no one like Elvis, thereís no one like Marilyn Monroe, there is NO one like Randy, and so weíre going to honor him with the original drum of our American Indian people.Ē

Lukather said of performing, ďI was honored to be asked, really. Thereís a lot of guys who probably should have been asked before me, but I think that this was put on by Randyís really really closest friends, and Phil Soussan is like a soul brother to me, and thatís how I knew Randy. I met those guys when they were playing with Ozzy in 1985 in a bar in Japan, and weíve been friends ever since. He was a great friend, but I didnít get to see him that much. I love him, heís a great man, and Iíll miss him.Ē

Torpey says of being a part of the show, ďItís in the spirit of Randy Castillo. Drummers are sort of this separate underground community. I know all the drummers; we all know each other. We stay away from the guitar and bass players, keyboards and singer [laughs]. Thereís something about drummers that weíre just a little more regular guys. I really believe that, and Randy was like that. Never a bad word about anyone, always a kind word for everyone, and thatís why we are here, just for Randy. Iím thinking about him, Iíve been thinking about him all day, and I know that Randy actually wanted to be in Montrose at one time, so I really feel, I donít know, like his spirit is touching me a little bit, so itís going to be great.Ē Bandmate Wright agrees. ďItís great to see everybody come together, friends and family too, to create a fund to help out his family.Ē

Chris Castillo called the show an extreme success because, ďNumber one, his friends were here. His fans were here, and again, it just shows the outpouring of support, not to mention the stories that were told to me throughout the night were nothing but positive stuff. He wasnít a hotheaded musician, he wasnít some big guy who thought his shit didnít stink, but he was a down to earth guy and it didnít matter if you were a delivery guy for a car to his hotel or a friend of his; he treated everyone with respect. Thatís how he wanted it to be. I think it was an awesome success, amazing - all the support... My mother is blown away. I mean, today she had a rough day because she knew this was coming, but she just canít believe the outpouring and the lives that her son has touched that we didnít even know about.Ē

"My mother is blown away...she just can't believe the outpouring and the lives her son [Randy] has touched..." -Chris Castillo
Blotzer commented on the turnout. ďThereís a hell of a lot of great talent here tonight, so Iím really looking forward to thatÖ I hate the fact that we are here because of a great friend passing away, but itís great to see the outpouring and the amount of respect and the turnout of the talent and the friends, itís mind-boggling. I tell you, when I go, I doubt Iíll have that many here [Laughs]. Who knows, but itís great to see, and thereís a lot of love in the roomÖ a lot of love.Ē

Jose Prieto of Ziroq noted that, ďRandy played drums in Ziroq about two years ago. We had been playing, I think, for two or three years. Randy loved to play with the band. I didnít play with him because I came in the band after he left, but I played with him about two months ago, an acoustic show at [the] Red Rock, I think that was the last time Randy played live -- Iím not sure, but Iím really comfortable to play here tonight.Ē

Soussan felt the benefit went over well and commented, ďWe could have done two nights. We sold out, and we could have sold out two nights easily. Iím really sorry we didnít do two nights, but weíre going to do something every year for it. Weíre setting up a memorial, thereís going to be a foundation set up. The family still has to decide on the basis of that foundation. It could be, for example, a scholarship foundation, or it could be something more close to his heart, like maybe something for musicians with terminal illnesses. I donít know if you know, but musicians donít have insurance or anything like that, and thatís a really worthwhile cause. Weíd like to do something every year.Ē

One thing is for sure, the spirit of Randy was in the house at the Key Club that night, not to mention in peopleís hearts and on their minds. Rock on in the great beyond, our friend. R.I.P.

For more information on the Randy Castillo Memorial Fund, go to http://www.randycastillo.com

NORTHRIDGEKID - 5/6/2002 1:04:43 PM
Arrrgh! I got stcuk in NYC and couldn't attend. Oh well. God bless you Randy, no you can jam in Heaven with Randy Rhoads. We will miss you.

Rokkaholik - 5/6/2002 5:43:21 AM
That would have been one hell of a show to see!!! Axl must have been shitting his pants over not being there too. Randy was an awesome musician who did it for the love of doing it, and not for the money. He deserves all the respect in the world for that. They should do this every year and donate the money to research for Cancer. As for 2 of my Favorite bands...Motley Crue and Ozzy...There is no reason what-so-ever that you could not have stopped by or have hit the stage for your former bandmate. What kind of friends were you for skipping out on this event? Very sad excuses guys. Bless all the other musicians that showed up to pay tribute to their friend. You guys rock!! Long live Randy

strendkill - 5/5/2002 7:55:14 AM
R.I.P bud. Thanks for all the good times on stage, and off. I will miss u.

binwhored - 5/5/2002 5:19:18 AM
Ozzy's a bastard for not showing up,i love the guy and all.but what the hells wrong with him.randy's contribution to ozzy's career should have brought him out on guilt alone.and forget motley.one of my absolute favorite bands.but you can't tell me none of those chumps could have aranged to be there.anyone could have sent money,that's a poor excuse .they should all be ashamed

JDAVIS - 5/4/2002 5:52:46 PM

maskofsanity - 5/4/2002 4:57:11 PM
What Randy Castillo Died? When Did This Happen?...?...?

Mattocaster2000 - 5/3/2002 10:29:06 PM
R.I.P Randy Castillo... you rocked www.hexxx.net

rockinitall - 5/3/2002 9:09:18 PM
rockneverstops...Im not missing the point of all of this...my point is that as human beings...throughout there lives the motley folks havent been too good of people. I mean look at what they did by reading the dirt? So I guess I shouldn't be surprised..and maybe it was nice of them to contribute $. I just think Randys memory lies in music...and the ultimate way to pay tribute to a musician is through song..I just know thats how I would want my band to remember me. and girlrock...the problem with not bitching about who wasn't there is that if noone showed like the Crue...then there wouldn't have been a benifit. I just think death deserves its full respect.

feed - 5/3/2002 7:24:31 PM

Paulzo - 5/3/2002 3:33:42 PM
Buckcherry and GnR? I missed it but, based on the response from fans, I bet we'll see that band again...soon. And leave Rush outta this - They are not even in the same league as these "rock bands".

cobain_is_watching_us - 5/3/2002 3:16:45 PM
sounds like it was a blast, man. wish i was there...but its good i wasnt because if i was i would have threw my drink on andy dick because hes a fucking moron and so not funny, and he would have gotten pissed, and yelled at me and i would have said fuck you to him, and we would have gotten in a fistfight and i would have hurt him nd i didnt wanna ruin the night for eveyrone else. but it sounded like it was a blast.

robj - 5/3/2002 2:01:50 PM
girl rock, you are wrong, Mike Inez WAS in attendance

Cagney - 5/3/2002 1:44:13 PM
The best? I'm sure he was a great guy and all, but he wasn't even the best drummer to sit behind Motley's kit. Death always makes folks lie.

maestro - 5/3/2002 11:57:29 AM
An excellent rant girlrock, thank you for not missing the point of all of this. RIP Randy

girlrock9769 - 5/3/2002 11:22:55 AM
This was a great show. Ozzy was at the funeral but was unable to attend this benefit show. Not to mention Zakk Wylde and Mike Inez were also unable to attend. Zakk was at where I work on the Friday before the show I asked him about the benefit and he said they were going to be in rehearsals for Black Label Society getting ready to gear up for Ozzfest on Monday. They were between rehearsals and possibly leaving for Europe on the day the benefit took place. People should stop bitching about who was there and who wasn't. The show wasn't about that. The show was to remember Randy and to bid are fairwells to him. The man was in my opinion the best damn drummer that has sat behind a kit. I had the pleasure of meeting him a few years back and I couldn't ask to have met a more down to earth nicer person than Randy Castillo. I was fortunate enough to get one of his drum sticks and I will cherish that memory forever. So instead of continuing to bitch about who was or wasn't there people should stop and think why we were there. To pay our respects and tribute to Randy Castillo. RIP Randy, We love and miss you.